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Which Moving Supplies Can Be Recycled?

After you’ve finished moving, you may be wondering what to do with all the leftover supplies. One option is to recycle moving supplies, but you can’t recycle everything. We’ll help you determine which moving supplies you can recycle. We’ll also offer solutions on what else you can do with your leftover moving supplies.

Moving Supplies You Can Recycle

Recycle symbol on cardboard moving box


After you finish moving, the majority of your “trash” will consist of cardboard moving boxes. Luckily, there are many uses moving boxes can serve even after a move! Here are some things you can do with them.

  • Save and reuse boxes for a future move. Saving boxes that are still in great condition can save you money when you need them in the future.
  • Use boxes for storage. You can use leftover boxes to store seasonal decor like Christmas decorations. You can also use them to store seasonal clothing. Just make sure to label all of your boxes so that you can easily find things later on.
  • Save your boxes for your children to enjoy. Leave it to your children’s imagination to take these boxes and turn them into anything they desire—from castles, ships, and planes to mazes and playhouses. You can even turn those old boxes into puppet theaters or forts. Side note: cats love forts, too!
  • Use them for DIY projects. Have boxes that are dirty or aren’t in the best condition? You can use them to protect surfaces when you are painting, during oil changes, or as something to kneel on when gardening. Another option is to make cardboard backings for framed art.
  • Use as compost. You can use the boxes as compost for your garden or give them to a community garden to use.

If you decide not to reuse your boxes, then you can give them away to charities or local community programs. They usually have a need for boxes. You can also sell them to companies that buy and sell boxes. Sell them on Craigslist or list them for free. You can also list them on neighborhood apps like Next Door. If you live in an apartment complex, you can turn them into the office. It’s likely someone in the building is planning to move. Lastly, you can recycle them through local recycling programs.

Packing Paper

Packing paper can be recycled, or you can save it for later use. The best way to store packing paper is in clean plastic bags. Make sure to seal them to protect the packing paper from dust, moisture, and bugs. Use slightly damaged packing paper to cover floors during home repairs or renovations. They are also great for covering floors when you are painting rooms.

Moving Supplies You Cannot Recycle (Usually)

Person's hands holding bubble wrap

Bubble Wrap

You cannot add bubble wrap to a regular recycling container. (Learn why here.) You can, however, recycle bubble wrap with plastic bags in a special recycling container. You can usually find these special recycling containers in front of grocery stores.

If you would rather upcycle than recycle your bubble wrap, here are some great ways to do so:

  • Save and use for a future move. It’s great to keep bubble wrap for later use since it can be expensive.
  • Use to store handbags and totes. You can place bubble wrap around the bags to keep them protected or inside to keep their shape.
  • Use to help shoes and boots keep their shape by stuffing bubble wrap inside.

  • Use it for art projects.  There are a lot of ideas online on painting with bubble wrap that can be fun for both kids and adults.
  • Use as an insulator for plants during the cold months of the year.
  • Use to store delicate items like fragile ornaments.

Packing Peanuts

Not all recycling programs take packing peanuts and some of them only take the white ones. Call your local recycling program to verify. One great way to use packing peanuts is for drainage in flower pot bases. You can also use them for art projects.

Recycle What You Can, Upcycle the Rest

We hope this post gave you some ideas for what to do with your leftover moving supplies. Even when you can’t recycle something, you can usually find a new way to upcycle (repurpose) it. These ideas can help you save money and reduce waste.

Check out this post for other ways to reduce waste when moving »

Don’t want to worry about what to do with leftover materials? Megan’s Moving can take care of it for you. It’s just one of the white glove moving services we offer that our clients love. Request a quote for any part of your full-service move today.

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